A few tips to playing successful shows
Imagine you just moved to a new town. No friends or musician pals, let alone connections with the local music scene. What do you do? The easy answer would be: get a band together and start playing successful shows , but that is not always the fastest track to local success.
When you’re trying to establish yourself as an artist in the local scene, your goal should not simply be to put a show together, but to put together a successful show. The difference is enormous. Here’s a few tips of how to make that happen.
1. Know your Target
As an artist, you should be crystal clear about what your skill set, goal and target is. An emerging artist should not count booking a show an end goal in itself.
The details are what matters the most: who is coming to catch your band play? Are you going to be performing for a near-empty room, with only your roommate and parents there to watch?
If you’re a rock ‘n’ roller, on the other hand, your natural habitat should be the DIY scene. Do your research. Who are the best local bands that gravitate towards your sound? Where do they usually play? Are they playing successful shows? Where do they go for a pint?
2. Be a Fan
Once you’ve gathered your data, take action. Go see their shows, follow them on social media, see what they’re up to and what their strategy is. Artists should learn from each others’ success as well as mistakes.
3. Don’t be a Stranger
Most importantly, befriend these fellow rockers. Approach them after their show, buy them a beer and make friends. If you’re the shy type who likes to stand in the back and just enjoy the show, get another member of your band to be the social one. Or, fight yourself and make an effort to exchange a few words and perhaps a little booze with them.
Whether you’re a hit writer or an indie rocker, you never know where meeting new people may lead you. You might end up co-writing a number 1 hit on a chill afternoon session with a writer you met randomly at a show. Or, you might end up headlining a national tour with a small-time band that broke through – and all because you had the guts to go talk to them after a set at your local dive.
Don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone, because that is what’s going to change your perspective on things and ultimately lead you to a more efficient strategy for your career.
4. Offer Up your Skills
Take time out of your own life to make friends with those acts that already establish themselves in the local scene. Ask if they would like you to open for them. That way you will most likely play to a room full of people who are probably into music or musicians themselves.
By opening for your new-found friends, you’ll be making a name for yourself as a new band around town, and you’ll be gaining their fans in the process. Throw a nice after-party after the show where you can properly hang out with your new fans and you’ll have a recipe for success.
Networking and making friends is crucial and takes a lot of work and dedication. If you’re looking for a simpler way to join these networks, check out youbloom Connect – where you can get partnered to perform with other local artists, build a steady fan-base, and even get your band on the road. Whether you reach out, or decide to do it alone, do yourself a favor: get out more and meet like-minded people. Many of them might not be your next musical partner in crime, but the worst that’ll happen is you’ll have more friends.
Luca a freelance writer, blogger, musician and songwriter. Born and
raised in Italy, his passion for Rock n Roll made him move to London where he
lived for one year and gained a certificate in Songwriting from ICMP.
Luca relocated in NYC in 2014 to pursue jazz music and liberal arts at the
The New School from which he graduated in December 2017. Luca currently
reside in Nashville, TN